Blackpool goalkeeper Matt Gilks is thankful he opted against joining last summer's exodus from Bloomfield Road.
The Seasiders' last-day relegation from the Barclays Premier League prompted key figures such as Charlie Adam, DJ Campbell and David Vaughan to seek pastures new.
Scotland international Gilks also had offers on the table but, ahead of Saturday's npower Championship play-off final against West Ham, he said: "I was very close to leaving. There were a couple of clubs speaking to my agent and we were waiting on answers. Fortunately they took their time and Blackpool didn't."
He went on: "Ian Holloway was on the phone to me non-stop, I was going to turn it off at one point!
"But he persuaded me to come back and, for myself, it was a footballing decision.
"I'd missed five or six months through injury in the Premier League and I needed to play football again
"Thankfully it was the right decision because of where we are, plus it's possibly been one of the best seasons I've had."
Constant telephone bombardment aside, Gilks acknowledges his relationship with Holloway is not always harmonious, but insists he and his team-mates are full of admiration for a manager who has steered them to the play-off final on a nine-match unbeaten run.
"He's a good manager," Gilks said. "He's a great coach and he's wants people to be honest.
"Me and the gaffer had a few words and a bit of a row a few weeks back. I told him a few things that perhaps he didn't want to hear, but that's the honesty that he wants from players. It was all out in the open and the next day it was put to bed. It shows in this squad with how well we've done this year that that's the policy we have."